Thyroid, Cholesterol and Statins

Issue # 153  November 18, 2013
Welcome to KnowYourThyroid.
I everyone is doing well.
Today, Bette Dowdell is going to cover what you need to know about statins and thyroid health.
Thyroid, Cholesterol and Statins
By Bette Dowdell

Half of us have thyroid problems-most without realizing it. And thyroid problems can cause high cholesterol levels. Few doctors know this however.

Besides, it’s easy to prescribe a statin drug, but harder than blue blazes to figure out thyroid problems. So guess what you’re getting, Bunky!

Well, now there’s an oops.

Not treating thyroid problems causes big problems. Low thyroid levels-even a little bit low-when left untreated or undertreated double your risk of heart disease-along with a couple hundred other never-wished-for diseases.

It’s not the cholesterol; it’s the thyroid. Adding to the mess, statin drugs make thyroid problems worse.

When you don’t eat enough saturated fat, your liver leaps into action to create the cholesterol your brain and endocrine glands need so much. Now, that’s not as good as saturated fat in the diet, but it’s something. But the whole point of statin drugs is to march in and prevent the liver from creating any cholesterol.

So your thyroid-your entire endocrine system, in fact-doesn’t get the cholesterol it needs to be able to create the hormones that keep the ship afloat. The thyroid can’t create thyroid hormone very well. The adrenals, same thing, And so on.

By not allowing your endocrine glands to get the raw material, cholesterol, they need to do what they do, statin drugs slow things way down. To add to the merriment, your endocrine glands do their one-for-all, all-for-one thing and feverishly try to help each other. It’s futile, though, because none of them have any oomph to offer.

You want more bad news? The liver and the thyroid are an item. Going after the liver always whacks the thyroid, too.

Our thyroid hormone-even the little we can produce whilst taking statins-consists mainly of T4, a pre-hormone that’s put into action as our body needs it. And where does this activation take place? In the liver, which is under the statin gun and struggling to do anything right. Activation ain’t gonna happen.

Your health is headed south at a terrific rate of speed.

And all for no good reason. Cholesterol doesn’t cause heart disease, and statin drugs do not prevent heart disease.

Inflammation in the arteries that carry blood to your heart causes heart problems. Vitamins and minerals reduce the inflammation nicely-no muss, no fuss. But don’t plan on a doctor sharing that information with you.

Here’s how the cholesterol bogey-man came to be.

When arteries get inflamed, they develop rough spots, rashes you might call them. Well, one of cholesterol’s many functions is to keep arteries in good shape for the smooth passing of the blood. Rough spots are hard on the heart because they’re hard on the blood. So the cholesterol White Hats ride to the rescue and cover the rash.

But we keep doing the stuff that causes inflammation, so more patches are needed. And more. Sometimes, a bit of cholesterol breaks off, and that’s never good.

When researchers saw arteries loaded with cholesterol, they shouted, Eureka! and called the problem solved. But they quit their research too soon.

The cholesterol they saw was not the problem; it was the body trying to fix the problem-which was, and is, arterial inflammation.

No matter; here came the statins.

Artificially lowering cholesterol levels to 180 via statin drugs increases the overall death rate. And things get worse at 150 because that’s when you start inviting cancer and stroke to join the party. At 130, get your estate in order.

So, we’re in a mess of major proportions.

If you don’t consider their huge negative affect on the thyroid, statins help men a tiny bit. Not because cholesterol gets lowered, but because they decrease inflammation a tad. Women receive no benefit whatsoever from statins, just side effects-including a big-time whack at the thyroid.

Vitamins and minerals do a far better job with inflammation than statins ever could, and they don’t cause any of statins’ disastrous side effects. And more than just eliminating inflammation-which saves you from dread diseases-vitamins and minerals also give a dandy boost to the thyroid.

A healthy cholesterol level is at least 200. Don’t listen to anybody who tells you it needs to be lower. Especially since higher cholesterol levels are a heart and health bonus once you hit your fiftieth birthday, give or take.

If your cholesterol’s high because your thyroid’s low, the thing to do is fix the thyroid problem. Seems like that should be obvious.

Bette Dowdell has studied how the body works-or doesn’t-for years to dig herself out of a ditch when doctors didn’t help so much. Now she offers an e-zine to share her knowledge with you-what’s good, what’s bad and what’s the difference. Subscribe to her free weekly e-zine at and start discovering how to get your energy back so you can take on life with enthusiasm.

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